Shelton diner wants to create a gathering place

The owner of the Riverdale Diner on River Road in Shelton is hoping to turn the establishment’s lower level into a room for “small scale” private gatherings, such as business meetings and post-funeral receptions.

The venue already has a separate entrance and would be called The Great River Room. “We want to serve a need in the community,” said owner Halem Saad, who opened the Riverdale in a former steakhouse almost 13 years ago.

Zoning staff is looking into whether approval for the diner included permission to use the lower level as Saad now envisions, or if a new zoning application will be needed.

The issue came up at a recent Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission meeting because Saad was seeking approval of a sign for the new Great River Room facility.